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The Perks of Being a Wallflower

This is a novel all high school students should read. It was published in 1999, but it focuses on Charlie, a high school freshman from 1991-1992. It was written in letters to an anonymous "friend", and strangely the first letter was written August 25th, 1991. I read the book almost exactly twenty years after it takes place. The book addresses everything that goes on in a teenager's life and more; drugs, alcohol, friends, awkwardness, siblings, family, etc. It is a coming-of-age novel in one sense, but in another it is about the life of a wallflower, Charlie, someone who's there and observes and sees things that others don't. As Charlie is described in the book, "You see things.  You keep quiet about them.  And you understand." On the jacket of the book, Perks is described as "This is the story of what it's like to grow up in high school.  More intimate than a diary, Charlie's letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating." And I could not agree more. I felt like I was a part of the story, and I could not stop reading (to be honest, it took me one morning to read this 213 page novel). It reminded me of The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger in the fact that both Charlie and Holden are completely honest with the reader in their thoughts and feelings and whatnot. Chbosky has said that Salinger's novel is an inspiration for him. It was made into a movie, which is now in post-production. It stars Logan Lerman as Charlie, Emma Watson as Sam, Nina Dobrev as Charlie's sister, Paul Rudd as Bill and Ezra Miller as Patrick. I cannot wait until it comes out in theaters! I would not only recommend this book to high schoolers (even though that is the targeted reading age) but to everyone. It was amazing, and it was one of those books after you finish reading it where you just sit there and think. Charlie has this one line towards the beginning of the book, "I feel infinite." It think that line just really deeply resonated with me, as I'm sure it does with every other teenager. Rating: ★★★★★

The Elephant's Journey

Island Beneath the Sea